When it comes to commercial construction projects and planning, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it is not much different from residential construction planning. However, this could not be further from the truth. 

Everything from planning to building is different in commercial construction, so it’s important to approach your commercial project with this in mind. To give you a better idea of what your project planning should look like, here is a list of the fundamentals of commercial construction planning. 

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  1. Finding a Location

Depending on the land you choose for your project, construction may end up costing more. Areas with a high demand, strict zoning requirements, or poor soil will lead to higher construction costs. If the area you choose must meet certain environmental requirements or is under a moratorium, you’ll face more obstacles during the project.

You may be limited in the type of building you can build if you purchase land in an area with strict zoning requirements. Since this can greatly impact your project, you should always double check before you purchase commercial land. 

Land parcels that require re-platting can delay commercial projects as you may need approval from several different county departments. Contaminated or weak soil will also pose an additional and potentially expensive problem.

  1. Budget

Commercial construction projects often have a lot more steps to work through than residential projects. This can lead to higher costs per square foot. 

Since commercial projects can vary so greatly depending on location and the desired building, it’s important to work with your construction manager to establish an accurate estimate. This will help you be able to budget for the project and avoid costly add-ons that you won’t need or use. It can also help you determine where each portion of your budget is most needed.

  1. Pre-Design

Before you can break ground on your project, you’ll need to get in touch with an architect who can sketch up some early designs for your project. Oftentimes, this step will take up a large portion of your planning phase as it will heavily impact your budget. Depending on the type of building you’re constructing, your budget may be higher or lower.

The pre-design phase aims to outline your project. It determines crucial elements such as the number of rooms, the size of each room, building orientation, materials and equipment, a general project timeline, and cost estimates.

  1. Design

With the pre-design in hand, it’s time to contact engineers to create the official design that your future construction team will follow. This phase will include the creation of highly detailed drawings and building schematics. You’ll consult many engineers during this phase to ensure your building is safe and ready for construction. 

Mechanical engineers will need to verify plans for any internal structures such as an HVAC system and plumbing. Structural engineers will ensure that the building is structurally sound. 

Electrical engineers will focus on designing the electrical layout in the building and civil engineers will create parking lots and ensure there are possible connections to other buildings and infrastructure nearby. 

  1. Pre-Construction and Procurement

After the design, budget, and location are all planned, it’s time to find a construction company to begin the pre-construction phase. This will include acquiring all necessary permits, licenses, and insurance. You’ll also appoint a project manager and field team leader.

With your team picked and the paperwork filled out, it’s time to order the materials within your budget. After everything has been ordered and arrived, you’re free to finally begin building.

Conclusion

It’s important to carefully plan every aspect of a commercial construction project before you break ground. There are a lot of things that can cause delays or leave you scrambling, but when you work with a professional commercial construction team like us, you can rest assured that the process will be much smoother.